Definition of Probity

“Where do the evils like corruption arise from? It comes from the never-ending greed. The fight for corruption-free ethical society will have to be fought against this greed and replace it with ‘what can I give spirit.” – Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

“We must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy” – George Bernard Shaw

Probity means integrity, uprightness and honesty. Maintaining probity in governance involves more than simply avoiding corrupt or dishonest conduct. It means ethical   behaviour that upholds public values and ensures impartiality, accountability and transparency which, in turn, gives people confidence to participate in the Governance process.

Probity in governance is an essential and vital requirement for an efficient and effective system of governance and for socio-economic development. According to the National Commission to Review the working of Constitution’s report on ‘Probity in governance’:

‘An important requisite for ensuring probity in governance is absence of corruption. The other requirements are effective laws, rules and regulations governing every aspect of public life and, more important, an effective and fair implementation of those laws, etc.

The NCRWC made suggestions on ways to enforce probity in governance, specifically on legal and procedural aspects to control the menace of corruption.

For instance, legalising code of ethics is the way to ensure probity in the conduct of public servants. Similarly, legalising social audit mechanism for all government schemes and programmes as provided under MGNREGA will channelize public participation in governance and strengthen public confidence in the governance process.